Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Want to become a runner?

So I guess I finally consider myself "a runner." Although i still consider that a stretch, because honestly... I'm not that good! I have a friend who can not run for months, than kick my butt in a race when Ive been running a few times a week for years. It seems to me that some people are just natural born runners.

I.... am not. Running has been hard for me, but I love it, and I am constantly trying to improve myself. I started running in college. I was sick of the elliptical (especially waiting in line for one at the over crowded gym) and figured that the treadmills were always open. I started out walking, with some short bursts of running mixed in. I always aimed for 3 miles. I very slowly built up to running longer distances at once, I would walk for 4 minutes to warm up, run for 6 (making a full 10 minutes) then repeat. I always did that for the first 10 minutes. Always 4 minutes of walking for a warm up. But then for the second 10 minutes I started working my way up to running 8 min out of the 10, then 9 then all 10! The first time I ran a full mile without stopping, I was amazed with myself. Then I worked my way up to 2 miles, then 3 and so on. Its important not to increase your mileage more than 10% a week to avoid injury. I used to get CRAZY shin splints. It was always when i pushed it and upped my mileage by more than 10%.

Also having good shoes are sooo important! My feet have a tendency to roll inwards when i run, which is called "overpronating." I read an article that said that New Balance 766 were amazing for overpronaters. So i bought a pair, and it has made allllll the difference! New Balance has since come out with the 767, 768, and are up to the 769 by now. I order mine from joesnewbalanceoutlet.com and just order last years model! so its usually about $40 instead of $100! I also have narrow feet and New Balances come in narrow which has been a big help.

For a while I decided I was going to run a marathon, and I actually got unto running 12 miles non stop. Then i started having crazy knee problems, and actually had to stop running for months.

I have finally gotten into a comfortable groove, I run 3 miles, 3 days a week. Sometimes outside, sometimes on a treadmill. I really like treadmills because I feel like you can challenge yourself more, since if you up the speed - you have to keep up or you fall off! its hard to inspire the same motivation on your own outside. To keep the treadmill from being boring, I like to add intervals. So for example,  I will walk the first 4 minutes building up to a 4mph. Then I will run a 10 min mile for a minute (6mph) then 6.2mph for a minute, then jump up to an almost sprint for 45 seconds (around 7.5mph) then for the next minute and 15 seconds slow down to around 6.2mpg again. So this is a 4 minute cycle, then i repeat this until I hit 3 miles. (I hope that made sense) Intervals keep you from getting bored, and make the workout seem to go much faster! Also they are good for you! Studies have shown that those that incorporate interval training loose more weight (some people say it boosts your metabolism) I just think it mentally tricks you into working out harder, since when you are done your sprint interval and going back to a jog, the jog seems easy in comparison, but is really the normal speed you would be running.

I love learning new things about health and fitness and recently stumbled upon this other type of interval training called Tabata
Basically the way it works, is you warm up (of course! warming up is key!)
you then sprint at literally 100% of your ability. Like LIONS are chasing you for 20 seconds. then you stop for and rest for 10 seconds. You repeat this 8 times. so its a total of 4 minutes. This I also prefer to do on a treadmill, because like I said before, you can really force yourself to sprint. I put the treadmill up to around 8.5mph which is around a 7 minute mile, and each interval go 0.1 higher working up to 9.0mph which is around a 6and a half minute mile.

Tabata actually has a lot of research showing that it increases athletes aerobic capacity by amazing amounts. Its grueling though, you literally cannot to anything after. I stretch and I'm done. I also probably look like a freak on the tread mill but I dont really care.

I also participate in a race every year called Hounds and Harriers. Its a 5k in Morristown NJ that raises money for St Huberts Animal Shelter where i got my dog Scotty Hotty! (ok his name is Scotty but he has a lot of nicknames) This fall will be my 6th year and I've raised around $2000 for St. Huberts.

This is my after my first 5K!

Who else is a runner?  I would love to share tips and workout ideas!

1 comment:

Kiki said...

I'm a runner myself. Well, semi-runner I guess. I've been running on and off during high school and college. It's only this May that I really started to train, coached by my mum. I've never been in really bad shape but I can't say that I'm in good shape now.
We trained for a month so I could run the 5k in Kortrijk and it worked out really well. I don't really do intervals, maybe I should try to incorporate them into my training...